Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/25/12

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard said Thursday he did not try to get Stan Van Gundy fired.

"I hate see anyone lose their job," Howard told TMZ.com in Beverly Hills, Calif., in his first public comments since Van Gundy was dismissed.

The Magic fired Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith on Monday. It ended a tumultuous season that included a trade demand by Howard and friction between the team's star and the front office.

"Me and Stan ... we had our ups and downs ... but for the most part we had one goal: to win a championship in Orlando," Howard said. "But we fell short."

Howard said he appreciated Magic CEO Alex Martins for saying Howard did not spark either move.

"I’m glad (Martins) confirmed I had nothing to do with it," he said.

Van Gundy, 51, served as coach for five years and compiled a 259-135 regular-season record. His teams made the playoffs five times and won three division titles and one Eastern Conference championship.

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